Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, September 30, 2013


About the Book:  Montana real estate agent Quint McCoy will tell you that the most important thing is location, location, location. It's a lesson he learns all too well when he goes incommunicado for a four-week fishing trip to Alaska. While he's away, his mother Molly turns his office into the pie shop she has always dreamed of, Big Sky Pie. But that's not the only surprise in store for him.  On her way out of town, Callee McCoy only wants to say a fond farewell to her beloved mother-in-law. But Molly soon persuades Callee to stay and lend a hand at the new shop, even if it means heating up the kitchen with her soon-to-be ex. As Callee and Quint rediscover their recipe for love, they realize that some couples are so sinfully good together that one delectable taste is never enough . . .

About The Author:  Adianne Lee lives with her husband of many, many years on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State in a pole barn building her husband transformed into an upstairs apartment with a shop below for his hot rods.  Adrianne creates her stories on her laptop, in her recliner with her adopted cat, Spooky, curled between her calves, snoozing.  over thirty years of summer vacationing in the Flathead Lake are near Kalispell and Glacier Park has given her a love for all things Montana.

My Thoughts About The Book:  I liked this book.  The story about a couple who were struggling in their marriage, who knew little about each other, who still loved each other, and the establishment of the Big Sky Pie Company was fun.  It was a light and easy read.  If you want something to read in one sitting that does not require a lot of effort than this is the book for you. 

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from net Galley Publicity Group  as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Special Prayers

I have a few special folks I am asking special prayers for this week.  My weekend  was filled with sadness, anxiousness, and prayer, so I thought I would ask if you guys would help me out.
Maghen is a precious little young momma of 1 year old Jett and momma to be of twins Kruz and Kason.  On Saturday(Jett's first birthday) they had to airlift her to UAB Hospital because they feared her water had broken, there was only one heartbeat and she was in active labor.  She will be at UAB until the twins are born.  The doctors say if they can just make it to 26 weeks there is a good chance of survival.  Please pray for 26 weeks...or Thanksgiving (30 weeks).  The longer they stay the better it will be.  Pray for daddy Keaton too.  He works in South Carolina and I know being there while she is here is killing him.  I am asking that you pray for God to wrap His arms around this little precious family and just keep them safe.

My second major request is for the family of Stan Harris.  His wife, Rebecca found him dead on Thursday when she came home from work.  He has four children and four grandchildren and his presence will be sorely missed.  Please pray for this family as they try and go on without him.
My third one is Mrs. Jean Hall.  She is the most precious lady I know.  She has pneumonia and is feeling terrible.  She doesn't feel like eating, drinking, going....she just has no strength or energy.  Will you please pray that her health begins to return.
Pray for both of our churches, pray for our country and government.  Pray for those in harms way.  Pray God's will be done.  Thanks for helping me out.  I appreciate the added strength.  God Bless You All. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Farewell My Dear Friend

I am sad this morning.  Yesterday I got a phone call from my cousin/singing partner/sister, Amanda tell me that our other singing partner had lost her husband.  I was in shock.  I could not believe that Stan was gone.  Today I want to share one of my favorite stories about Stan and his character.  Ten plus years ago, when I lived in my little apartment, a friend gave me a sad little chiffrobe that she had stored in her barn.  I only had two tiny closets in my apartment and the piece gave me some much needed storage space.  It was warped in the back and the front had some areas of water damage from being stored so long in the barn....but it was still usable.  I kept it until Frank and I married and I moved into his apartment.  Stan had booths at Angels Antiques in Opelika and he also built and restored furniture so I gave the piece to him.  Several months later we met Stan and Rebecca at Angels.  He was so excited and met us at the front door to escort us to his booths.  He wanted to show me his newest piece.  I looked his booth over and everything was gorgeous.  He kept standing beside a piece and clearing his throat.  I finally looked in his direction and there was a gorgeous...I mean drop dead gorgeous cedar hall tree.  Stan had a huge smile on his face.  The cedar hall tree was the tired and sad little chiffrobe.  Stan had taken it and converted it into a piece of furniture worthy of being in a million dollar mansion.  It was amazing but then....that was how Stan was....with furniture and with people.  Stan was one of those amazing people who could see something battered, worn, and abused on the outside and find the beauty within.  I know he did with me.  Stan could always see the heart of the wood.  When I first met Stan and Rebecca I was battered, abused, and worn and had no self-worth.  Stan loved me just as I was and always made me feel like I was special.  He was special to me.  I loved getting a big old bear hug from him everytime we were together.  He was my friend and I will miss him very much.  Please pray for my friend, his wife, Rebecca.  I know his death has left a huge hole in her heart and life.  He will be sorely missed.  Frank told her yesterday that he envied Stan.  Rebecca looked at Frank and asked, "Why?"  Frank then told her because Stan was where he (Frank) was striving to be.  Heaven was rejoicing with the entrance of this new angel.  As we left the house yesterday after spending time with the kids (Charity, Zeb, and Virginia), Ashton (his granddaughter) and Rebecca I hugged her and told her if she needed anything to call me.  She told me she would be alright because she was a Still Magnolia (the name of our singing group and our power statement).  I knew with her parting statement that she would be alright....because she was right....we are Still Magnolias

Friday, September 27, 2013

Five Minute Friday: True

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt.  

 The short version is: 1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (On your blog or in the comments). 2. Link back to Lisa-Jo's blog by clicking here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in her blog footer}. 3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. - This weeks word is TRUE.

When I hear the word true I think of something that is actual and in accordance to fact.  I come from a long line (and I mean L-O-N-G) of storytellers.  We tend to take what is true sometimes and change it up a bit.  Does that mean it is untrue?  Well...not really.  The true story is still is just embedded within descriptive adjectives and adverbs.  I loved listening to the "true" stories my uncles told when I was a child.  It was better than a book.  I would give anything to hear them today.  But, true is so much more than that.  I was raised that telling what was true meant you did not have to worry about which lie you told to whom.  My mom and dad were true to each other the entire 58 years they were married.  My dad still loved my mom just like he did on their wedding day and vice versa.  I grew up wanting that same kind of true relationship with someone.  I learned 20+ years into the marriage that being "true" or un"true" does not necessarily mean one of you is having an affair with another "real" person.  Affairs can be had with inanimate things too.  My ex-husband was not true to me and he had an affair with the Queen of Hearts. His gambling almost cost me everything...but did give Amanda and I a ton of material to write songs with.  It ended up costing me my marriage.  One day I woke up and realized that I had to be true to myself.  Sitting at my desk at work about 12 years ago I was looking for a quote for my class and found a wonderful one.  I printed it off and it sits on my desk even today.   "Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."  Thank you Hardy D. Jackson because you saved my life.  I had raised my children to be true to themselves and somewhere along the road of motherhood I had lost sight of this concept.  As a Shakespeare major in college you would think his famous quote, "to thine ownself be true" would have sunk in.....but didn't.  In my spiritual life I have read the word true in the Bible.  My favorite "true" verses are:  John 15:1 -   “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper, and Proverbs 12:22 -  "The Lord detests false lips; he favors those who do what is true."  Being true is you, to the people you come into contact with, but mostly in your relationship with God.  So, with that in mind...stay true to yourself and have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Taste of Thursday

It is Thursday and I have some more recipes I want to share.  I hope you enjoy them.  I love fall cooking.  As it gets cooler I am wanting soups, know those stick to your ribs kind of foods.  One of my favorite recipes came from my dear friend, Lori.  She brought it to a bowling eating and I fell in love with this taste of heaven. 
Chicken Corn Chowder
4 T butter
1 med onion(chopped)
2 cloves of garlic(minced)
2 lg cans chicken
2 sm cans chopped green chilies
2-14 oz cans of creamed style corn
1 t Tabasco
1 t cumin
2 T cilantro
Dash of salt
1 qt half-n-half
8 – 10 oz pepper jack cheese(shredded) - I use colby jack sometimes too and it is just as wonderful.
Melt butter, sauté onions, add chicken and garlic – sauté 5 minutes.  Add everything else.  Simmer 15 – 20 minutes until corn is tender.  Add shredded cheese right before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.
Sometimes I like a little salad to go with my soup.  When I make this one I always use this recipe.  It cuts some of the heat of the soup and it is so easy.
Oriental Ramen Broccoli Cole Slaw
2 (3 ounce) packages beef-flavor ramen noodles
 2 (8 1/2 ounce) packages broccoli coleslaw mix
 1 cup toasted slivered almonds ( leave these out because I am not a huge almond fan.)
 1 cup sunflower seed
 1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
 1/2 cup sugar
 3/4 cup oil
 1/3 cup white vinegar
1. Before opening noodles, crush into 1 inch pieces. Open packages and set aside flavor packets.
 2. Place noodles in bottom of large serving bowl. Top noodles with broccoli slaw, then sprinkle with almonds and sunflower kernels, and green onions.
 3. In a separate bowl combine sugar, oil, vinegar, and flavor packets from noodles. Pour over slaw, cover and chill up to 24 hours.
 4. Toss before serving.I am crazy about bread pudding and I am always looking for new recipes and new sauces to go with it.  Since being diagnosed with diabetes it has been a bit more of a challenge.  I have found a substitute bread pudding....when I want some.  This one is not diabetic friendly....but let me tell you it is awesome. 
Egg Nog Bread with Rum Glaze
2 eggs
 1 and 1/2 cups of regular eggnog (not low fat)
 2 tsp Spiced Rum ( I like Captain Morgans)
 1 cup white sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/2 cup butter @ room temperatur
 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
 1 (3.4 ounces of powdered) package of instant French vanilla pudding mix
 2 tsp baking powder
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350. Spray your loaf, muffin etc. pan with non stick spray with flour.
In your mixer using the paddle – mix together the eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar, vanilla and butter. The butter will remain clumpy but that is just fine. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend until incorporated. Avoid over mixing. Again, the butter will remain clumpy and this is to be expected. The butter will melt when cooking. The dough will be thicker – be aware.  Pour into your prepared choice of pan(s). Bake your mini loaves for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. A regular loaf pan will take about 45-55 minutes.
Rum glaze:
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 tsp eggnog
2 tbl Spiced Rum
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
Whisk together and pour over your cooled eggnog bread.
Bon Appetit!  I hope you will try at least one and comment back and let me know how you liked it.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hodge Podge Kicking Off Fall

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! Add your link at the end of Joyce's post by clicking here  and then be a good neighbor and go say hi to the bloggers linking around you. Here are my answers for the week-

1. What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young?
I am terrified of high bridges over water.  I saw an accident once involving a draw bridge and water and have feared them ever since.  I used to dream about being on a bridge and when it peaked there being nothing there.  The Coronodo Bay Bridge in San Diego almost did me in.  I drove over it singing like a mad woman.

2. What's more important-history or science? Why?
I have to agree with Joyce.  History tells us where we have been and what not to do again.  Science is important too because it is where the cures for diseases comes from. 

3. Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black, or pinto-your favorite bean?
I like kidney, chili, black, green and pinto beans to the point that with some cornbread or a hush puppie, and a slice of onion I have a happy meal.  I detest lima beans and butter beans.  I think they are nasty. 

4. What's something people come to your town to do?
Oh come on.  I live in Rock Mills, AL.  The population is less than 1,000.  People come to my town to visit family members and once a year attend the big....and I mean it is big....Pottery Festival.  Every first and third Saturday they may come to set up or browse through Wehadkee Trade Days at the old mill.

5. When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less.
Board meeting on the fourth Sunday at my church(last week).  Discussed events and money issues.

6. What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?
I would love to see the Eagles, The Olympics, The Special Olympics, APresidential Ball.

7. What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?
Keep a notebook with you at all time and jot down your "aha" moments. You never know when they will be a springboard into a great story.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Have you ever visited The Wall in Washington D.C.?  I have been there several times and each time I feel a different emotion cursing through me.  I wear an MIA bracelet for a soldier who is listed on the wall and the first time I touched his name it was electrifying.  I have visited it at night and in the day time.  Each time I leave with tears in my eyes.  All of the monuments for our veterans leave me feeling this way....but for some reason....the Korean and Vietnam Walls take my breath away.  Have you ever been?  If you ever have the chance to visit them you should....and don't forget to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Everyone should visit D.C. once in their lives.  Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Amanda!

Today is my cousin/sister's birthday.  Amanda and I have been close since we were just kids.  She is one of my most favorite people on earth....she and her three sisters are the closest thing I have to sisters.  Amanda is an amazing person and I always wanted to be just like her.  I always said if I were hurt seriously I would want to be taken to whatever hospital Amanda was working with.  We write songs together, we sing together, we share tears and laughter together and I am so glad that God blessed my life with her.  She gives my life color.  There is nothing that makes me smile more than singing harmony with her and just being in her presence.  She is working in Virginia right now and I hope that she had an amazing day.  We will celebrate next time she is home. You know no matter if we are side by side or miles apart, a sister like you , is near and dear to my heart.  I love you Amanda and I hope your day was as special as I think you are!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Rainbow Egg

About The Book:  This is the story about Hope, a wild chicken, who happens upon an egg. Looking for a place to help raise it, a guardian red bird leads her to a chicken house full of chicken families. There she finds challenges and fear ultimately leading to the most precious gift she could ever hope for. The Rainbow Egg is a beautifully illustrated, delightful fresh look at adoption as a loving gift.

About The Author/Illustrator: 
Linda Hendricks, M.D. is a practicing oncologist in Georgia.  With the adoption of her two children she was fueled to spread the word that adoption is an act of love on the parts of both the adoptive parents and the birthmother.  The intent of her book is to explain this act of love to her children. She is now sharing it with everyone.

Christine Greer, R.N. has been practicing nursing for 18 years.  She is a professional artist and taught school art for many years.  She has played a dynamic integral part in the work required to get this book published.  She and Dr. Hendricks are already planning their second book together.

My Thoughts About The Book:  The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks is a short and sweet children's book about adoption described through the lives of chickens. I have several friends who have adopted and I shared the book with each of them. I believe that this children's book is a must have,  It is beautifully illustrated and would be a great source of help for those experiencing infertility, those with adopted children, children who live in adoptive homes and birthparents or potential birthmothers of adopted children.  A great read within twenty-six pages.

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from Thomas Nelson as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jesus Loves The Little Children

I was listening to a Ray Stevens song this morning on my way to breakfast with the Kramers and it gave me a great idea for my Children's minute on Sunday.  Good Morning Children. When I was a child my parents would sing the beginning of the Ray Stevens song in the car with my brother and I.  We sang a lot in the car.  What about you?  Did you and your family ever ride down the road singing songs like, "Davy Crockett, Oh You Can't Get To Heaven, "Jesus Loves the Little Children?"  We did....and I loved it.  I think that is why music is so important to me today.  But...that is not what my blog is sort of is.....I am going to hold up some money for the kids to see and ask them, "Do you know what this is?"   I am sure they will tell me what it is.....they are kids...and this is money.   I am going to step on a limb with my next comment....especially when I ask them, "Who would like to have this nice twenty dollar bill?"  I am sure they will be all over that one.   I will be sorry.....especially when I apologize for not giving it away at all because it’s valuable. Then I am going to fold it and ask " Would you still want it?  The next question will be,  "What if I scrunched it up very small like this? Would you still like to have it then?   My final questions will come after I scrunch it up and throw it on the floor and step on it? I am going to ask them if they would still want it?   Then I will follow that one up with "Why would you still want this old bill"?   Hopefully this will accomplish what I want and they will give me the write answer.  Then I will tell them that even though the bill is scrunched up, folded up, banged around and stepped on it is still valuable.   Children are so very precious / valuable to God. Even as adults we may feel a bit like the poor twenty dollar bill. Sometimes we feel we have been beaten up, scrunched up, stepped on and kicked around. But no matter what, we are still valuable to God. The Bible says that God loves us and we are always valuable to Him. We are "precious in His sight."    I want to stop and thank God that we are valuable to Him.  This week at school I have witnessed some cruelties from one student to another and it has broken my heart.  This week was abundant with kids making fun of other kids and I know it hurt.  You see....I have been there.  I was the kid who got made fun of.  We were not rich in money and I went to an affluent school.  People said cruel things about the death of my brother.  I was picked on for being a Tom boy.  The only place I ever felt I belonged was church.  The song Ray Stevens sings, "Everything is Beautiful" took me years to grasp.  I did not feel beautiful.  So when I see kids hurting other kids it breaks my heart.  I spent most of my young adulthood feeling like the wadded up and stepped on twenty dollar bill that no one wanted.  My thought to you is watch what and how you say never know when someone else will take it to heart and bury it there.  Sorry, but somewhere after the song link I decided to chase cats.  Happy Saturday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five Minute Friday - She

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt.
Here’s how it all got started, back story, details and all. The short version is:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (On your blog or in the comments).
2. Link back here to Lisa Jo Bakers blog and invite others to join in {you can grab her button code in her blog footer}.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you.
It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.
Simple and Easy Peasy.  I look forward to Fridays and unwinding in word! 



She picked me up when I fell down countless times.  She washed away my tears and fixed my hurt with a bandaid.  One day she went away.  Her physical body was still there but her mind was somewhere else.  I could not fix her when she needed fixing. 

She found me playing in my back yard in 1959.  I was five and she was getting there.  She  became one of my bestest buds.  She was with me when I rode my first bike, went to Kindergarten at Vedado Park, went to Belvedere.  She was there the day I graduated and se was there the day I walked down the aisle the first time.  Susan, she was there in my neighborhood when we moved in.  She became my fast buddy.  She was there when my brother died and I was there when her father died.  We went to school together from Kindergarten to PBJC and when she walked down the aisle and married the love of her life I was there singing the songs she picked out.  She still figures large in my life.  She is the one I love to spend time with.  She is the one I call when I am struggling.  She is the one I want to share my dreams, hopes, and fears with.  When we get together after being apart it does not seem like any time has passed.  She is something special.  She is my daughter's Godmother. 

Speaking of my daughter she came to me one hot June morning.  She was a month early and my blood pressure was rising.  When the doctor laid her on my chest she opened her eyes, looked at me, grabbed my little finger and I was hooked for life.  She was my daughter. 

She went to work at BRHS the same year I did.  She and I became fast friends.  She fell one day during a bomb threat and we became soulmates.  We traveled together, we raised our children together, she secretly hoped that my daughter would marry one of her did not happen but she was ok with that.  She died and there was a massive hole in my heart that she had filled for so long. 
She came to me at church, caught my hand and lead me to pray with her.  She did not plan for me to pray about her.....oh no!  She was praying for me.  My tears flooded the altar rail as she clung to my hand.  She gave me hope....and strength.  The words she uttered fell upon me like black velvet.  She, her sister, and the rest of the Porch People fill my life these days. 
I am a fortunate one to have had so many "she's" in my life.   


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday Treats

As some of you know I am a type 2 diabetic.  I have tried my best to revamp my recipes to make them diabetic friendly.  The ones below....not so much.  It is fall and pears are dropping around here.  I thought I would share some of my grandmother's recipes.  Ok...the first one has nothing to do with pears....but it is chocolate.  My grandmother would top it with whole pecans and it was amazing. 

Hot Fudge Pie!

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs...

1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour.

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix in well. Add cocoa powder, salt and flour and stir until well combined. Grease a 8" pie plate with butter or Pam. Pour mixture in pie plate. Bake for 30 -35 minutes until center is set. If you like , you can dust with powdered sugar and serve with a side of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
Fresh Pear Crisp
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon, divide
3 tablespoons cold reduced-fat stick margarine, cut into pieces
4 cups sliced peeled pears (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1.In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in margarine until coarse crumbs form; set aside.
2. Place pears in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, ginger and remaining cinnamon; toss to coat. Transfer to an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until pears are tender. Yield: 9 servings.
I make this with apples, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries...apples and pears are my favorites.
Pear Cobbler (Poor Man Style)
2 to 2 1/2 cups sliced fresh pears
2 cups sugar, divided
4 ounces butter
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I leave this out sometimes)
1/4 teaspoon salt
 3/4 cup milk
1 egg
Mix pears with 1 cup sugar and let stand. Put butter in 2-quart casserole and place in 325° oven until melted. Combine all dry ingredients, including the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Mix well. Whisk together the milk and egg; slowly combine with dry ingredients to make a batter. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon pears over the batter. Do not stir. Bake at 325° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and pears are tender.  This is such an easy recipe.  Both of them are wonderful with cool whip, whipped cream, and or ice cream (butter pecan is my favorite).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Joyce's Birthday Hodge Podge

Welcome to this weeks version of glad you stopped by to read my answers.  I hope you will hop on over to our hostesses blog and wish her a Happy Birthday.  Here are my answers to this week's questions.  if you want to play along then grab the questions, answer them yourself, and link up at Joyce's and see what everyone else said.  It is a lot of fun.

1. When did you last sing happy birthday to someone? When were you last sung to? Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day?
We sang happy birthday to Carissa at her 18th birthday party on September 1st and then to Lura and Charlotte at Bible Study last Wednesday...oh and we sang it at church on Sunday.  At both Midway and Rock Mills we always celebrate the Birthday's and Anniversaries of the week.   Happy Birthday Joyce.  I hope your day is amazing.  My birthday is April 15th and I will enter a new decade.  I will be 60.  I think I am going to celebrate the whole month.....well...except for the Holy Days.  Happy Birthday was sung to me at my Surprise Party on my 59th birthday given in my honor by my Porch People family.  It was a huge surprise....the first one ever.  No one ever gets by me with a surprise like that.

2. Name a famous or 'infamous' person who shares your birth month and day. Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible?  Taking a different route with the question....My dad's birthday was April 14th and he was working in Ft. Meyers, FL.  He stayed home on the 14th because he just knew I would be born.  He left early the next morning to travel 4 hours to Ft. Meyers and my mom went into labor.  She had to take a taxi to Good Sam Hospital where I was born.  .April 15th is quite an infamous day. On April 15th, Lincoln died, in 1912 the Titanic sank, income taxes are due, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred.  Famous people born on my day were: 
Emma Watson - actress from Harry Potter
Leonardo da Vinci-Renaissance artist, inventor, polymath, musician, and architect who painted the Mona Lisa and drew the iconic Vitruvian Man.
Elizabeth Montgomery - Samantha Stephens on the show Bewitched. I always thought she looked just like my best friends mom.
Bessie Smith -Empress of the Blues who sang in the 1920s and 1930s.
Michael Ansara - Husband of Barbara Eden(I Dream of Jeannie fame) was Cochise in the TV series Broken Arrow.

3. Someone hands you a box tied up in a lovely bow...what are you hoping to find inside?
I like to get jewelry.  I would love a camera, something homemade,  tickets for something, gift certificates.  I love boxes with bows.  I love to wrap boxes with huge elaborate bows. 

4. What is something you can guarantee about yourself?
I am a Christian.
5. Talking about art and beautiful cities here...'The Last Supper' in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan, Italy or 'The Mona Lisa' in the Louvre, Paris...which would you most like to see up close and in person? Why?  I have seen the Last Supper in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan and felt as if I had died and gone to heaven.  It was amazing.  Italian art museums that we visited were amazing. 

6. Your favorite dessert?
I cannot chose just one.  Dessert depends on how I feel.  I like different desserts in different seasons....Carols molasses cookies, Celia Towlers homemade chocolate ice cream, Apple pie or apple schnitz, Beth's apple dumplings, Amy's sweet potato dumplings, Mrs. Betty Jeans Key Lime/Strawberry cakes, Deborah's Birthday Cakes, Mrs. Shirley's Coconut Cake (and I don't even like coconut), my cousin Judy's lemon cake. 

7. This coming weekend marks the official start of autumn (in the northern hemisphere)...what is something you do to get ready for fall? What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar? Spring or fall-which do you prefer?
I  do some seasonal decorating outside in the fall.  I do some inside.  I love this time of year.  I have had years when I went all out....but not so much lately.   I love the scents of autumn.  Frank and I will cut back some of the bushes and as the nights cool I will begin moving plants inside for winter. 
Fall is my all time  favorite season of the year.  I grew up in South Florida with two seasons....summer and hurricane..... and I always wanted to live somewhere where there was an explosion of glorious color. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.  I am a huge apple fan.  I love the things...raw, dried, of my favorite easy peasy recipes is this Apple Dumpling recipe I found.  I thought I would share it with you today.....

Easy Peasy Apple Dumplings - (Diabetic friendly)

1 or 2 large Granny Smith Apples
2 10 ounce cans Reduced fat refrigerated Crescent Rolls
1 cup light butter
1 1/2 cups sugar ( I use Splenda
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 12 oz. can Mt. Dew(diet).  I use Sierra Mist Diet too
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F . Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
  2. Partially melt butter in a small bowl in microwave and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
  3. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Watch them to see how much they're browning . Depending on your oven it make take less time or more . If they seem to browning too much but don't look done in the middle , cover with foil .
So, what is your favorite way to eat an apple????  The Apple Festival is coming to Ellijay, Ga....on the 12th of October.  I can taste them now.  Whoooo hooooooo!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

About A Letter From A Mother To A Daughter

This morning I was sent this in an email and my thoughts flooded back to a day in my not so distant past when I experienced a very painful conversation with my mom. It was New Years Day 1998.  Kat was a Senior in high school.  I was home alone when she stopped by for a visit.  When she left I remember sitting in the dark and crying until I could not breathe.  My mom told me she thought she had alzheimers.  She told me at that moment that she wanted me to know she loved me....because there might come a day when she did not even know me.  I thought she was being melodramatic.  If only I had known.  She did not really SHOW signs until Daddy was diagnosed terminal.  Then and only then did I begin to see how sick she really was.  I think I had just stuck my head in the ground back in 1998.  Anyways ny 1998 conversation with my mom could have been this very LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:
 "My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.  If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.  When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day... the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter."
- Unknown,
I was that daughter.  My mom and I had struggled to be close after my brother died.  I had a great relationship with my dad....but my mom and I seemed to drift further and further apart.  When my father became ill, they disappeared for 3 days, we had to put them in assisted living, we had to put them in a nursing home, my dad died, my mom was placed in an alzheimers unit at a local nursing home, and then she died.  I am just grateful that in the latter years of her life I was able to be ther daughter who listened as she repeated many stories, I was patient, I loved her unconditionally.....just like she had done many years before.  Alzheimer's Stinks!  I hope none of you ever have to lose a parent to this horrific disease.  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Painted Ladies of Ireland

I was looking through my Ireland pictures yesterday and found some of the ones with the marked sheep.  While we were there I had the chance to talk to a sheep farmer.  I am glad I had my mini recorder because it was very difficult to keep up with him and even harder to translate his dialect.  What I was curious about was the markings on the sheep in the pasture.  Some were blue, some red, some a brownish all over color, some green.  He explained to me that sheep are coloured in different ways for different things. In September(which I is when I was there the first time) you will see gimmers...I made him spell this one for me.  A gimmer is a female lamb that was born in the spring and not yet bred from.  They will be colored a light browny colour. It is not the color they were born with....nope....Sheep farmers actually take the little lambs and put them into a dipping tank which contains a colouring called pearl dip. My new sheep farmer friend explained that it just like a woman getting her hair tinted to make her look better.  The dyed lambs are going to be sold for breeding and the farmers want the sheep to look their best.  The sheep farmers also wash the faces of the sheep and trim the wool.  The boy sheep, or Tups(rams),  are given the same treatment for the same reason.  the ones I was most interested in where the ones with the colored mark.  It turns out that this is a mark of ownership, each farm will have it's own unique mark. The farmer went on to explain that his farms was a green dot on the offside rump.
This doesn't replace tagging which is a legal requirement, but if there are extra sheep in the field,  the coloured mark distinguishes between the ones that belong to the farm...and the ones that don't.   He went on to explainTups/rams were sometimes put into a harness at mating time. These harnesses had a coloured, waxy block in them, which leaves a mark on the ewe when mounted, this way the sheep farmers know which ewes have been mated with and which haven't. He went on to tel lme that after 3 weeks the colour of the crayon is changed, and any ewe that is re-mated gets the 2nd colour on her and that way the farmer knows she is going to be a late lamber.  Sometimes no harness is used and the farmers just use a coloured paste to mark under the tups for the same reason, this process is called raddling the tups. 
After talking with the farmer for almost an hour I had more information than I ever thought I needed, and more desirous than ever to spend a month in Ireland on my own.    I am so into socks, brogans, long woolen skirts, and baggy sweaters.  This is one of my top five bucket list things to do.  I am sure that this is probably more than you wanted to know about sheep....sorry.  Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wanted: Missing Doxie

Last night was one of those nights you pray will never happen.  I went to bed about 9:30.  Frank and Beau (the doxie) would be following me shortly.  I read for about 30 minutes and then went to sleep.  At 11:00 Frank came and told me that Beau had not returned after his nightly constitutional and that he had already walked almost to the church looking for him.  I got up and slipped into some clothes and joined in the search.  We walked through neighbors yards(it was a wonder we weren't shot), called for him, rode to the church checking the ditches on both sides of the road, and then rode down the other way.  I was praying he had gotten in the field of hay beside or behind our house and gotten turned around.  I feared he had been gotten by coyotes. We sat under the carport and watched the door...we both cried at what we feared might be true.   At 1:15 I laid back down and cried some more.  Frank stayed up in the recliner hoping he would bark at one of the doors.  All was quiet.  At 1:30 our doorbell chimed and their stood our neighbor (Mrs. Gloria) with a very traumatized Beau.  Her dogs had started barking and when she turned on her back light she found him quivering in her back yard.  She coaxed him back to our house.  He did not sleep with us last night.  Instead he slept on a towel in the bathroom where he could see our bed.  This morning he has not gone out....I am sure it is because it is not daylight yet.....and lays at one of our feet.  Right now he is sleeping at mine.  Frank has gone outside to drink his coffee.  I thought I would do my blog.  Frank and I have talked about moments like this many times.  We decided that IF, key word there is "if", anything ever happened to Beau there would not be another dog.....but I was not ready to go least not last night.  I am so glad that we did not have to.....this time.  Today I am preaching out of Luke 15:1-10.  It is the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin.  I will probably add in....the Parable of the Lost Beau.  Hope you have a blessed day.  I know I am feeling pretty blessed right now.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


About the Book:  A young Amish woman harbors a difficult secret. Does she dare share the truth with the man she hopes to marry?  Elsie Keim doesn’t want to be left behind. Her twin sister, Viola, and her older brother, Roman, have both found love and are building lives of their own. But Elsie? She’s still stuck at home, being treated like a child. No one seems to consider her a capable woman—all they see are the thick lenses of her glasses, constant reminders that Elsie suffers from keratoconus and is slowly going blind.  Elsie knows there’s much more to her than her disease. That’s why when a new neighbor, Landon Troyer, shows some interest in her, she doesn’t want anything to scare him away . . . even if it means keeping her condition a secret.  Landon is ready to start a new life and feels like Elsie may just be the right woman to start it with. But when Roman steps in and shares the truth about Elsie’s illness, Landon is floored. His job is demanding and takes him away from home, sometimes for days at a time. How could he keep up with his responsibilities and take care of Elsie?
About The Author: Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the “Sisters of the Heart”, “Seasons of Sugarcreek”, “Secrets of Crittenden County”, and Families of Honor series. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at
Purchase a copy here.
Learn more at Shelley’s website.

My Thoughts On The Book:  This was one of the best Amish romances I have read in a while.  Once I started reading the book I did not put it down until I was finished.  This book is the third in a series and even though I have not read the other two I was able to pick this one up and be drawn into the lives of the main characters.  The story is one of struggle, decisions, doing our will, secrets, and life.  There were several sub plots working in this story.  The secretiveness of the grandparents past, the hidden addiction of the father, and the illness of one of the twins. Through this family's bond of love, the love of a man and his wife, the love of parent and child all the stories are resolved.  The resolves may not have been what I would have wanted but through Gray's expert character development I was left with a feeling of understanding.  If you love Amish books then this one is definitely one you will not want to miss. 

STATEMENT OF DISCLOSURE: I received an paperback copy of this title from Litfuse Publicity Group  as part of their blogger review program . I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.  Thanks guys for letting me read this and participate!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Mercy

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend 5 collective minutes writing on a single prompt. I love this brief five minutes to clear my head, get rid of the stress, and open my heart and just write.....
Here’s how it all got started, back story, details and all. The short version is:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (On your blog or in the comments).
Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog footer}.
3. Go leave some comment props for the five minute artist who linked up before you.

It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week.
And this week, one of my hand’s down favorite writers who can make five minutes sing, you guys, SING, is guest posting for me. I’m thrilled to have Alia sharing five minutes today on something that is super close to both our hearts.
If you want to know what we’re talking about, you’ll need to read the amazing back story here about Mercy House Kenya.
‘Cause women can change the world right from the diaper aisle. –> click to tweet this one!

 The Webster definition for the word mercy is this:  kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly 
: kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.  Oh yeah that is so me!....or at least the me I want to be.
Psalm 57:1 says:  "Have mercy on me, God; have mercy on me because I have taken refuge in you. I take refuge in the shadow of your wings until destruction passes by."  I cannot tell you how many times I have uttered these words.  When I as young I made several destructive decisions and ended up in situation where I needed mercy.  My Highway 22 prayers have been cries for mercy more than once.  I am one of the blessed ones...god has shown me mercy many times over.  The problem much as I have received mercy....have I given it.  When things started going south with my ex-husband mercy was not something that came from my lips easily.  I was hurt and wanted to hurt back.  People I had loved, shared meals with, kept their children, etc....all of a sudden shunned me.   I received no mercy or compassion from them.  I was the enemy.  I was devastated.  I made a give as I got.  Wow....was I wrong....and ashamed of my vow when I finally realized....God gave me so much mercy....and I was giving nothing back in return.  I found myself forgiving them all in my heart.  Some actually became my friends again...others...oh well...thus is life.  I have learned to be more merciful with people through my life experiences.  I may not be the Mercy Queen....but I am striving to be.  When I utter the phrase..."Lord, have mercy on me!" I am dead serious.  I want to be treated kindly....and forgiven....when I should be treated terribly.  When we sing the hymn, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me...."  I sing loud.  I want to be more Christlike....and practice mercy every day of my life. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Non Trivial Trivia - How Much Do You Know About Arlington?

 On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was:..."How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns" ----I was so excited.  I have been there several times and I knew this answer....I sat in my chair and shouted, "I KNOW!  I KNOW!"  I was stunned when all three contestants missed it! --They missed it!  They did not know...  Well let me tell you this.....if you have never seen it.....this is really an awesome sight to watch.  Did you know?
1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps:  It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?  21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if not, why not? He
carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

 Did you also know that they must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV.

All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft,

 Joe Louis {the boxer}

 Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

 Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty..


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be
afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930. God Bless and keep them.

The last time I was there I sat through three changings of the guard.  I cried unashamedly through all three.  It is one of the most touching moments I have ever experienced.  It ranks up there with the Blue Angels Lost Man formation, taps, and a 21 gun salute.